September Temperatures and Night Sky

courtesy Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium
The shortening days and growing nights find their balance in September, but the weather scales are still tipped in favor of the warm weather. The land and ocean store the summer heat, releasing it during the fall, which is why it is so much warmer than March, which gets an equal share of the Sun’s energy. Cooler nights and the moisture from vegetation ensures many foggy mornings in the river valleys, the first threats of frost have gardeners on their toes, and the annual explosion of autumn foliage begins. The storm track still rides well to our north, but the lack of mid-summer heat and humidity reduces the thunderstorms, making it drier than previous months, but it can rain tremendously should a tropical storm or its remnants head up the Eastern Seaboard.
courtesy Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium
Summer’s constellations, Scorpio and Sagittarius, begin their departure, progressing from south toward the southwest through the month. At the same time, Saturn edges higher from southeast into the south, and Jupiter rises into the east, joined by Mars before midnight. Extending up from the Teapot in Sagittarius, the broad, faint path of the Milky Way arches from southwest to northeast, where the Summer Triangle remains high in the south. The eastern skies welcome back the Great Square of Pegasus, due east mid-month at 8:30 p.m., attached to Andromeda to its left. Venus slips into the morning twilight, while Mercury offers no viewing this month. September Sun and Moon: Sept. 10, Full Harvest Moon; Sept. 17, last Quarter Moon; Sept. 25, New Moon.